Thursday, 29 March 2007

Warning: confused ravings and thoughts out loud

Pussy Cat Pussy Cat
Where have you been?
I've been to London
To Visit the Queen

Pussy Cat Pussy Cat
What did you there?
I frightened a little mouse
Under her chair

Like the Pussy Cat in this well known nursery rhyme, I am in a bit of a rut as to looking at my own small predictable world, and not considering possibility, or even risk.

For a start, and I am sure I am not alone when I say that being a full-time Mum I struggle for any kind of quality time to myself, mainly thinking time. I actually feel guilty about allocating time to my interests and needs. Silly I know, and I am sure many will scold me for not taking time for myself, I know the break will make me a better Mum in the daily scheme of things; not so snappy and frustrated, but I still struggle with the idea, and will not allow myself time to chill. It is like I feel unentitled and selfish for thinking of my own needs, and since it has been this way for the past 5 years, I wouldn't even know what to do with myself, even if I did have a spare hour or two.

Recently a friend offered to have both of my kids for a couple of hours, to "give me a break". I couldn't do it. I didn't want to burden this friend with "my responsibilities", and honestly, the thought of coming up with something to do during that time, put me in an absolutely state of panic. I SERIOUSLY need to get a life!

I think the worst part of this state of being, is that I have lost the ability to identify the many things that are important to me, beyond the everyday distractions of housework, home maintenance, grocery shopping and bill paying.

Last night at Toastmasters, I was asked the $30 million question - literally. What would be the first thing I would do, if I happened to win the $30 million jackpot? All I had to do was talk for 1-2 minutes on this question, but I struggled; basically I spluttered, bumbled, ummed and erred. Seriously, it was just as painful for the listeners as it was for me, but apart from paying off my house and university bills, I was absolutely clueless - the idea of an excessive and life-altering amount of money was totally unfathomable to me - the freedom, the choices, the social good it could do..... Where do I start? I thought, and then I realised that I didn't have one single idea, and quickly and silently concluded that I would rather not be burdened with such a weighty win-fall - give it to someone else. Is this really my message to the universe?

Ironically, I was also asked to talk about a prize I had all honesty, I have never won anything before. Hmmm, I guess I have answered my own question, but then again, I mostly sabotage any chance of winning, by rarely placing myself in the running - You gotta be in it to win it, as they say. I am not really the gambling kind, as you can probably tell. Most of my inner thoughts about the future are preluded with the word When, and that basically puts an abrupt halt to any future thoughts and plans.

I am not feeling very settled right now, when I am settled, perhaps I can give the future more thought. When the kids go to school, I will think about what I want to do with my life. When I am rid of my debts I can to this or that....

This course of thinking reminds me of the fable "As Famous as the Moon", pg 18 from The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche:

A very poor man, after a great deal of hard work, had managed to accumulate a whole sack of grain. He was proud of himself, and when he got home he strung the bag up with a rope from one of the rafters of his house to keep it safe from rats and thieves. He left it hanging there, and settled down underneath it for the night as an added precaution. Lying there, his mind began to wander" "If I can sell this grain in small quantities, that will make the biggest profit. With that I can buy some more grain, and do the same again, and before too long I'll become rich, and I'll be someone to reckon within the community. Plenty of girls will be after me. I'll marry a beautiful woman and before too long we'll have a will have to be a son...what on earth are we going to call him? Looking round the room, his gaze fell upon the little window, through which he could see the moon rising. "What a sign!" he thought. "How auspicious! That is a really good name. I'll call him "As famous as the Moon"...." Now while he had been carried away in his speculation, a rat had found its way up to the sack of grain an chewed through the rope. At this very moment the words "As Famous as the Moon" issues from his lips, the bag of grain dropped from the ceiling and killed him, instantly. "As Famous as the Moon", of course, was never born.

So there you go...Man, I just flicked through this book. It is really a fabulous, mind-altering read, but I have never managed to get past page 113. I simply have to try this book again. It is not so much of a struggle, it is just that I need to put it down regularly, to contemplate what I have just read.

Anyway, I shall think some more about the $30 million dollar question and get back to you on that one, and of course, most of the time, these things don't even need $30 million to accomplish.


Kimberly said...

Wow, my mind is reeling after reading that. I identify with a lot of what you wrote. I'm definitely going to have to re-read that one.

Tracey said...

It gets better, I promise. Not that I'm any shining example, but as the kids reach school age, you do gradually find your brain again.

Actually, IMHO, you are doing very well. Your writing is just wonderful - you ARE using the old grey matter to produce awe-inspiring and thought provoking blog posts. And the stuff you read and ponder upon! You amaze me! I didn't approach anything like this when my girls were littlies. (Maybe that's why I embraced the internet when we finally got online.. hungry for stimulation...)

Don't rate yourself on your ability to produce an impromptu speech - since when was that a measuring stick?

In the best traditions of 'Do what I say and not as I do'.. enjoy this time with the children, and take the pressure off yourself.